Software can be expensive these days. Thankfully, most types of software have excellent alternatives that are either free, or Open-Source. Here are some tips sent in by Chris G to help you find these alternatives.
- Google is a geek’s best friend. We use Google to find everything in our geektastic lives, so it makes sense to use it to find our free software. However, this must be used with extreme caution. Googling “Free Photoshop” may not lead to Open-Source/Freeware… but to torrents. With torrets, you may certainly get a free version of Photoshop… just not legally. Refining your search to something like “Free Photoshop Alternatives” will help a great deal.
- Indexing sites are also a good option, allowing you to search inside of all the applications available as Open Source/Freeware. This, again, should be used with extreme caution. Only download from trusted and reputable sites, as not doing so may lead to malware installed on your PC. This is bad.
- There are also many websites whose sole purpose is to find good software to recommend to their readers, as well as tips and other bits of content. Such sites are Lifehacker and 43Folders are particularly good for offering productivity tools. They also recommend other software. Whilst not everything is free on here, I have found many good pieces of freeware here.
- New/Social Media/Podcasting or whatever in the world you want to call it. Whilst these may not be the best option if your specifically looking for a bit of software, they are great for just picking up bits of advice and tips along the way…. and most importantly: providing entertainment.
- Communities. Real people are your best option. Having had real experience with the application, they will know which they think is best. This will allow you to bypass the downloading, installing, using, not liking and uninstalling of the countless apps you need to try in order to find the best one. Communities like Chris’ do amazingly well for this kind of thing. With the extremely friendly and well-educated people there, you’re to get hooked up with a few sites for the software you need.
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